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Watching Over Us
Photo: Dennis Tokarzewski
What is the first thing you say when you return home after a hurricane hits your house? How about: “It is not as bad as I feared.” Or, “Yeah, we got hit, but it could have been worse. We got off lucky.” Possibly: “God was watching over us.”

I heard all of these. I was one of several hundred thousand that left their homes in advance of Hurricane Ike. 

We live in northern Galveston County, near where the eye went ashore. When we returned, we inspected our home. News reports made us fear it would be gone. Instead, it looked much as it had when we left. Tree limbs were down, but the house looked OK. The windows were unbroken, the roof intact. “It is not as bad as I feared,” my wife said. “God was watching over us,” I replied.

We were blessed. We do not even have to make an insurance claim. We went a few days without electricity, but God blessed the area with below-average temperatures. With nighttime temperatures in the sixties, and daytime temperatures in the low eighties, we were comfortable without air-conditioning. 

I talked to my neighbors as we and they returned, and we put things back together. Everyone had the much same reaction as my wife and I. “We got lucky,” said a neighbor with roof damage. “God was looking over us. Need a new roof. It could have been lots worse.”

It Could Have Been Much Worse

“We got lucky,” said a neighbor who had a tree fall on his house. “No one got hurt. God was looking over us. It could have been so much worse.”

A clerk working temporarily at a grocery store near my house told me, “I got lucky. My house is in Galveston, and it’s flooded. But I got out beforehand, so I am okay. God was looking out for me. I’ll rebuild.”

People were also willing to help others. One neighbor, who had lost three trees in his yard, lent me a battery-powered drill so I could remove the boards protecting my windows. Another, with a generator to run his freezer, froze ice in containers so that I could keep perishables cold. When we finished cleaning our yard, our teenaged son went over to a neighbor who had lost trees, and hauled branches to the curb for pick up. A neighbor needed a hand. If you could help, you did.

It did not seem to matter how bad things were. Everyone seemed grateful for what they had, and worried about those that had suffered more and tried to help them.

Life challenges us. Sometimes the challenge comes as a hurricane. It seems insurmountable before it happens, but afterwards? You realize that God was looking after you. Things are not as bad as you feared. And in helping your neighbors you realized that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

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By Mark N. Lardas. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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